Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Posts Tagged ‘Big 4

First sentencing for leak of PCAOB inspection list to KPMG

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A former Inspections Leader at PCAOB who went to work for KPMG as an Executive Director and was involved in leaking lists of audits scheduled for inspection was sentenced today.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 9, 2019, 17:35 pm at 5:35 pm

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Two articles provide more info on SEC sanctions against KPMG for ‘stealing the exam’ and CPE course cheating fiascos.

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For more discussion on the dual fiascos of the now-former-senior KPMG partners getting the PCAOB inspection list and altering workpapers along with cheating on continuing education classes, check out these two articles:

 

Francine McKenna at MarketWatch on 6/18/19 The KPMG cheating scanal was much more widespread that originally thought.

Article provides a good summary of the settlement.

Try this on for a word picture, which I’m expanding from Francine’s description in the article:

Getting a $50M fine from stealing the inspection list (and then altering workpapers) is the powerful right punch that everyone was expecting. The test cheating part is a staggering left hook that nobody saw coming.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 20, 2019, 7:57 am at 7:57 am

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KPMG agrees to $50 million fine from SEC. The details are really bad.

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Oh, remember that post about the SEC considering a $50M fine against KPMG?  Initial report suggested it was for gaining access to the list of engagements which were going to be inspected by PCAOB.

It is much worse.

The firm is fined for altering workpapers based on the inspection list. In addition, there was a lot of cheating on the tests for CPE courses, including a class required by the SEC.

The SEC says KPMG has agreed to settle and pay $50M.

If you want to read the gory details for yourself, you can do so:

This is for real. Seriously.

By the time you finish reading this post or other reports on the SEC’s action, you may be wondering whether there needs to be an assertion the source of information for this post was neither The Onion nor Babylon Bee.

Reports of setting your own passing score for an ethics test could make you wonder if it is very early April. “Cooperate and graduate” exchanges of test answers with the engagement partner and your audit team makes one wonder whether we have entered some sort of alternate reality.

You may want to glance at the linked documents and verify for yourself they are for real.

I assure you the above documents are from the SEC.gov website.

SEC action

In part II of the administrative action/cease & desist order, KPMG admits the facts described in part III.

Here are some highlights of part III.

First cause of action

The first cause of action by the SEC is the firm obtained the list of engagements which were going to be inspected by PCAOB and then altered workpapers which had not yet hit the lock-down date.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 17, 2019, 9:22 am at 9:22 am

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SEC considering a $50M fine against KPMG

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It will take a bigger stack of currency than shown above if the SEC follows through with what they are considering. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Wall Street Journal reported on June 13, 2019 that the SEC is considering a fine of $50,000,000 against the Big 4 firm KPMG for it gaining access to the highly confidential list of audits scheduled for inspection by PCAOB.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 14, 2019, 10:20 am at 10:20 am

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Two convictions for former-KPMG staff gaining access to PCOAB inspection list

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Back in March a jury returned convictions for two of the players in the effort to get a list of the audits which were scheduled to be inspected by PCAOB.

(Yeah, yeah, conviction was in March and I’m mentioning it now in June. I’m just a tad bit late to the story but still want to discuss it.)

A senior level former-partner, David Middendorf, was found guilty on 4 of 5 counts. He was the National Managing Partner for Audit Quality and Professional Practice Group, in the firm’s Department of Professional Practice. That means he was the top technician in the national office of top technicians.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 14, 2019, 9:20 am at 9:20 am

Posted in Audits

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Trial of former partner at KPMG starts today

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One former partner at KPMG and a former PCAOB staffer get their day in court today, February 11, 2019. Actually, it will be about four weeks in court, according to Michael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal: KPMG Ex-Partner Goes on Trial in ‘Steal the Exam’ Scandal.

David Middendorf was a KPMG partner until April 2017. He was National Managing Partner for Audit Quality and Professional Practice Group, in the Department of Professional Practice (DPP). He reported to the Vice Chair of Audit.

Jeffrey Wada was a PCAOB Inspections Leader from February 2012 through February 2017.

Both are in court today defending themselves against charges they received and leaked, respectively, the list of KPMG audits which were scheduled for inspection by PCAOB.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

February 11, 2019, 8:04 am at 8:04 am

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Update on KPMG gaining access to PCAOB inspection schedule. Possible impact on inspection results.

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….what might need improving at KPMG based on PCAOB reports. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

The PCAOB released results of the inspections during the 2017 cycle. The results are not pretty.  In addition, PCAOB released previously confidential comments from the 2015 report.

Michael Rapoport has the details in the Wall Street Journal on January 25, 2019:  KPMG Gets Poor Marks From Audit  Regulator / Regulator unseals sharp criticism of Big Four accounting firm’s quality during period spanning leak scandal.

In a painful phrase, the article quotes prosecutors as labeling this as a

“steal the exam” scheme.

In the 2016 audit cycle, PCAOB replaced 11 engagements that had already been reviewed with 10 others. Of the 11 replaced, 3 had significant deficiencies. Of the 10 replacements, 9 had deficiencies.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

January 29, 2019, 7:00 am at 7:00 am

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